Random Thoughts January 13

It is not easy starting a newspaper. I am finding that out quickly. So why do it?

Newspaper readership has dropped dramatically. Why pay when you can get your news for free on line? Yeah, I understand that, but with newspapers closing or cutting staff, we’re losing an important part of our communities.

Newspapers once played an important role. They were the watch dogs of local government. We pay most of our taxes to the municipalities in which we live and to the local school district. What they are doing with our tax dollars is of utmost importance to us. What they are doing period is important to us.

Today’s comic from Pearls Before Swine (to read it go here) hits the nail on the head. Without the local media as a watchdog, local government can pretty much do what it wants.

That’s why I wanted to start a paper. I was a news director before I was a teacher, and I have been dismayed by how local media outlets have cut staff and reduced news coverage. They’ve begun to rely on feel-good stories and features instead of hard news. They are not telling us what we need to know.

So I have decided to buck the trends and start a monthly paper for the greater Reynoldsville area. I plan to cover municipal meetings and ask questions. I am also going to get other writers to help.

This news site will remain free so you can get the news we cover right away. The monthly paper will provide additional news and analysis along with insights from local writers and other features.

It may or may not fly, who knows? But I still have the fire I had when I was a news director.

The number one rule of journalism is the public has the right to know and that rule is what we will follow.

I just wish I knew what I was doing.

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